The Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden has Made History Fulfilling the Endowment Trust for Phase II of A Woman’s Garden

October 4: Join us as we launch the 2021-2022 A Woman’s Garden 25th Anniversary Campaign with special events topped-off with a Birthday Party Celebration

Membership in the Women’s Council is open to the community!

(Featured photo: The Endowment Trust Trustees, Endowment Trust Oversight Committee and the Birthday Celebration Committee. Front row: Dorothea Meltzer, Susan Fisk, Barbara Bigham, Birthday Party chair; Lisa Loy Laughlin, President, Women’s Council; Patricia Cowlishaw.
Second row on stairs: Sharon Ballew, Kathy Cothrum, Emilynn Wilson.
Third row back: Sharon Adams, Kay Weeks, Lisa Meyer, Linda Spina.  Not Shown:  Mari Epperson, Michelle Mew, Birthday Party Committee; Venise Stuart, Endowment Trust Oversight Committee 2021-2024.)*

The Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden has made history once again! First in May 1995, the nonprofit broke ground on Phase I of A Woman’s Garden. On October 4, 1997, Phase I of A Woman’s Garden opened to the public. A Woman’s Garden is the only public garden in the United States conceived by women, funded by the efforts of women and dedicated to the universal spirit of women.  Just three years later in 2000, the Women’s Council met their obligation to fund the $1.5 million endowment trust to support the ongoing maintenance of Phase I. In August 2021, the Women’s Council met their obligation to fund the $1.6 million endowment trust to support the ongoing maintenance of Phase II, which opened in the spring of 2006.  

“This is truly historical,” said Lisa Loy Laughlin, Women’s Council president. “We are thrilled and so very grateful for each individual and collaborative contribution which has provided the opportunity for the Women’s Council, that not only has the endowment trust for Phase II been funded, but that it happened during this year as we launch A Woman’s Garden 25th Anniversary Campaign happening through October 2022. And we have even more news!  The spotlight will shine on the Women’s Council and A Woman’s Garden for a week beginning on Monday, September 27th with A Woman’s Garden Day at the Arboretum. It is all topped-off with a 25th Anniversary Campaign Launch Party on Monday, October 4.” 

Events throughout that week include the Women’s Council Members’ Fall Volunteer Day and New Member Welcome Tea in the Garden on September 29th, and Autumn at the Arboretum featuring the display “Bugtopia” and its famous Pumpkin Village.       

The Reflective Basin gifted by Mary Silverthorne. Joe Rosenthal’s sculpture Nude gifted by Doris Anton.

A Woman’s Garden is a world-renowned display garden of timeless design recognized for its own unique history. Ablaze with color in every season, A Woman’s Garden sits majestically as a living testament to the passion and vision of Women’s Council founders Margaret McDermott and Virginia Nick, and the boundless energy and devotion of its members whose commitment to creating a garden dedicated to the universal spirit of women across generations is realized in its inspired design – a composite of elegance and rustic strength, of water and landscape, of formal and naturalistic elements and of refuge and renewal.  Created out of deep respect for nature and the feminine ideal, A Woman’s Garden provides aesthetically beautiful, meaningful spaces that offer the spiritual renewal central to its original concept as a tribute to the spirit of women. Since its opening in 1997, A Women’s Garden continues to grow and evolve to the enjoyment and delight of visitors of all ages to the Dallas Arboretum.

The Women’s Council launches the 2021-2022 A Woman’s Garden 25th Anniversary Campaign with a Birthday Party! Slated for Monday, October 4th and chaired by Barbara Bigham, the 25th Anniversary Campaign Birthday Party will be an afternoon of delightful happenings with Mary McDermott Cook as special guest. Sponsored by Westwood, the Butterfly Release will represent spiritual rebirth, transformation, change, hope and life. Locally renowned artist Lori Cusick will join in as she creates a plein air artwork in honor of A Woman’s Garden. There will also be live music, a champagne wall and birthday cupcakes. Tickets are available to Women’s Council members through the website at  Underwriting and sponsorships are also available. Membership is open to the community and the Women’s Council encourages you to join in time for this fun event and many more. Membership has many benefits which are also found on the website.     

Lisa said, “It is important to emphasize that even as the Women’s Council has met their goal to fund the endowment trust for Phase II, the need to raise funds and to grow the endowment trust continues and will continue throughout the future to fund the year-round maintenance of the plantings, features, structures and repairs when needed. The Garden’s maintenance, development and the endowment trust are funded solely through the fundraising efforts of the Women’s Council and by the generosity of donors who have honored the Women’s Council with financial gifts in naming features in the Garden. It is crucial that the community understand the importance of its continued support for A Woman’s Garden to ensure its legacy for generations to come.”

Opportunities for supporting A Woman’s Garden include Garden Gifting, Tributes and Dedications such as major named features in the garden, the Boxwood Niche, Trio of English Planters-The Boxwood Niche, the Mount Holyoke Table, Circle of Honor Engraved Stones, Magnificent Specimen Trees, the Endowment Trust Fund, the Lisianthus Society, Tribute Cards and more.

Upcoming Events: Mark your calendars for Tuesday, November 16, 2021 for the “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” 15th Annual A Writer’s Garden Literary Symposium and Luncheon. Chaired by Sandy Ammons with Marilyn Weber as honorary chair, the event begins with a morning reception, followed by the symposium featuring Bettie Bearden Pardee, Newport, RI; Susan Sully, Charleston, SC and Dr. William C. Welch, College Station, TX and a lovely luncheon. Tickets, underwriting and sponsorships are available via the website at  Click on A Writer’s Garden on the left panel.        

HISTORY:            Since 1986 the major goal of the Women’s Council has been the design, construction, funding and endowment of A Woman’s Garden, the only public garden in the United States conceived by women, funded by the efforts of women and dedicated to the spirit of women. The support of over 500 members of the Women’s Council makes possible the continued expansion and development of A Woman’s Garden.  The Women’s Council is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Visit the website at

(Sharon Adams, Adams Communications Public Relations, is honored to represent the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden and post this CharityLifestyles eBuzz.)


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly, the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.